With a final vote early Friday morning, Sept. 18, the N.C. General Assembly approved a state budget for the 2015-17 biennium that achieves several NCACC goals and has little negative effect on county government. Governor Pat McCrory signed the legislation shortly after it received its final vote of approval from the House of Representatives.
The budget contains a tax plan to help struggling areas of the state by expanding the sales tax base to some services and directing most of the new proceeds to 79 counties, while other new revenue remains in the county where it is generated. It does not redistribute existing sales taxes.
Lottery funding for school construction is maintained at $100 million. The legislation fully funds teaching assistants and driver’s education. It increases funding for film grants, restores historic preservation tax credits, and increases transportation infrastructure funding and mental health funding.
It creates two new state departments – Information Technology, and Military and Veterans Affairs. In anticipation of separate legislation before the end of the legislative session, the budget allocates $225 million to Medicaid reform and $25 million for a possible general obligation bond.